China and the United States should take their cooperation to new levels to tackle the ongoing global financial crisis, state media said on Thursday, the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two sides.
Because they are the world's major economic players, they cannot escape being hit by the meltdown and should work together, the official Xinhua News Agency said in a commentary marking the establishment of ties in 1979.
They should "promote their bilateral ties onto a new level, further strengthen high level exchanges, step up cooperation in various fields, and enhance coordination in macro economic and financial policies," Xinhua said.
"Such efforts will not only help the two countries tackle the crisis together, but will also serve to maintain global financial stability and stimulate world economic growth," it said. The uncertainties now afflicting the global economy have begun haunting China as well. Economic growth has slowed and factories have closed, with job losses threatening to fuel political unrest. Authorities have slashed interest rates and promised to spend more than half a trillion dollars to stimulate the economy. At the latest round of high level China US economic talks last month, both countries pledged to work together to fight the financial turmoil.
Among key agreements, they promised $20 billion to finance imports by developing countries and cooperation on regulating financial risks. Beijing said it would let local subsidiaries of foreign banks trade stocks in its market and Washington promised to speed up licensing of Chinese banks.
Both sides stressed the importance of cooperation to combat a potential rise in trade protectionism.
Critics say China is not doing enough to stimulate domestic consumption and is still trying to support its exporters, which could bring it into friction with the US and other trading partners.
According to Xinhua, the volume of bilateral trade between China and the US rose from US$990 million in 1978 to US$302 billion in 2007.
Also Thursday, Chinese President Hu Jintao and his American counterpart President George W Bush exchanged congratulatory messages on establishing diplomatic ties, Xinhua said. In his message, Hu called the event "a milestone that marked a new chapter in the history of our relations and had a significant and profound impact on the international situation and the world's landscape."
"We have made historic achievements in growing these relations," Hu was quoted as saying. "They have not only delivered enormous benefits to our two peoples, but have also greatly contributed to peace, stability and development of Asia and the world at large."
He said China wanted to strengthen dialogue and exchanges, and expand the basis for cooperation.